I just finished reading The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, a story by Edgar Allan Poe. If you've read it, let me know what you thought of it, that story sure gets crazy near the end...
Part of the story is about a shipwreck. Reading those parts about the shipwreck brought back a lot of my own memories, from many many years ago, when I experienced my own misadenture at sea.
At the time, I was a wee lad of 12 years. I was idealistic, full of life and vigor, not yet hardened by reality and the onslaught of failure after failure that I would later experience in my adult life...
So, here's the story... two of my friends and I had decided to set out on a sailing voyage. I remember that first day, moments before we set out on our adventure. The sun was yellow and the sky was blue, and the clouds weren't in the sky but if they had been in the sky they would've been white. The butterflies fluttered about, drunken sailors sat on the beach and talked to each other, bragging about the previous night's debauchery (whorehouse stuff I guess). There were also hilarious knife wielding squirrels who patrolled the beach, stealing tourists' sandwiches at knifepoint. And there were lovers laying on the sand, curled together in blankets, condoms littered about them...
It was a beautiful day.
But my friends and I didn't have time to contemplate this beauty, we wanted to go on our adventure. We quickly clambered onto a catamaran, and set off into the ocean. I remember one distinct fact, the ocean was very blue. I also remember seeing a floating horse's head, it seemed like a bad omen, but at the same time, it reminded me of that movie, The Godfather, and I thought that was pretty freakin' cool. So, other than the floating horse's head, for the first hour or two, everything went well.
And then our boat flipped over.
My two buddies and I managed to cling onto the flipped over catamaran. We didn't panic. We were only 20 miles from shore. Although none of us was older than 14 years old, and none of us had any experience with the sea, well, we weren't worried. One of my buddies even wore an eyepatch, it made him seem tough and wise, and for some reason that eyepatch made us feel better about the situation. I also had a knife with me, it was my lucky knife. I called my lucky knife "Lucky." We were relieved that I had brought the knife along, Lord knows that Lucky could really come in handy. Unfortunately, when I checked my pocket to grab my knife, I realized the pocket was empty. Lucky had fallen out and had probably sunk to the bottom of the ocean. This was hugely disappointing. My lucky knife was no good to anyone now, well, maybe Lucky would fall into the hands of some ocean dwelling creature, like an electric eel or crab or octopus. And maybe the creature that found Lucky would use the knife for something good, like sharpening their teeth or cracking open an oyster.
As we looked down into the blue depths of the vast ocean, already disappointed by the loss of my knife, a terrible realization came upon us. We were in shark infested waters. And not just any kind of shark. These parts were infested with tiger sharks, the worst shark of them all. Now, you probably already know this, but I am afraid of sharks. Specially tiger sharks. Think about it, a tiger is already scary enough, right? And a shark, well there's nothing scarier! But to have a tiger combined with a shark, well, there's only one word for that: ridiculous.
In the end, we were lucky, we didn't get eaten by tigers, sharks, or tiger sharks. We magically drifted 3,000 miles, finally finding ourselves off the coast of Borneo, where we were saved by a group of fisherman just off the island's perimeter. Our shipwreck adventure had ended. But our adventures didn't end there, because once on the island of Borneo, we experienced many marvelous, crazy, and dangerous adventures. But, as I'm sure you already know, I wrote a novel about those adventures. And just in case you haven't heard of my novel, it's called: The Adventures I Had One Time on the Island of Borneo and Pygmie Elephants Kinda Freak Me Out But Tiger Sharks Are Worse I Guess So I Try To Put My Fear of The Pygmie Elephants In a Proper Context. It's a very good book, if I do say so myself.